I love indie movies, especially ones that strive far beyond their budgets and aim to produce stories that are what they envisioned regardless of their limitations. Sparks is a film directed by Todd Burrows & Christopher Folino based on a graphic novel created by Folino.
After a radioactive meteor strikes Earth, various people are imbued with super powers. They become known to the public as the Rochester 13. Ian Sparks (Chase Williamson) lost his parents and has dedicated his life to cleaning up the streets of New York. But when a greater evil threatens the public, Sparks teams up (and falls for) Lady Heavenly (Ashley Bell) to find and stop the nefarious Matanza (William Katt).
The ambition of this film goes far beyond what its budget should rightfully provide. Folino has constructed a faithful adaptation of his book with a stellar cast of indie darlings and ended up with what could well become a cult film for superhero fans. Chase Williamson, who kicked so much ass in Don Coscarelli’s John Dies at the End, is just awesome here as Sparks. He has a perfect balance of heroism and snarkyness that is uniquely Williamson. He has great screen presence and a quirky sense of humor that is perfectly suited to this type of film, I really hope he sees some sort of breakout soon; he needs to be in bigger films.
And then there is Ashley Bell. Since her breakout role in The Last Exorcism she has done an amazing array of film that span many genres and many character types, you never really know what kind of role she will be in next. Here she is headstrong and powerful and a perfect counterbalance to Williamson’s Sparks. She really is a very good actress and deserves the attention she is getting. And then there is William Katt. I have been a fan of his since Carrie in 1976 and definitely became a diehard fan with his series The Greatest American Hero and the movie House. He also did a fantastic little seen sci fi film called The Man from Earth that everyone who hasn’t seen it should seek out immediately. Here is a great villain and relishes the role with every scene he is in. He is a vastly underused actor and is still so entertaining to watch. Sparks is a unique superhero film with a twist, a great sense of humor and an expansive imaginative scope. Recommended for sure.
Sparks is available now on DVD.